After immigrating to the UK from Australia Beverley Bunting made the connection between gloomy winters in the UK and SAD, and since spent a lot of her time along with her Pharmacist husband Philip Bunting researching SAD light therapy, and expanding the business to the success it is now. As a sufferer herself, she talks about her experience with SAD and strategy for dealing with the symptoms as well as offering tips and advice for others.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and winter blues
Animals react to the changing seasons with changes in mood, metabolism and behaviour and human beings are just the same. Many people find they eat and sleep slightly more in winter and dislike the dark mornings and short days and this is commonly referred to as 'winter blues'. For some, however, symptoms are severe enough to disrupt their lives and to cause considerable distress. These people are suffering from SAD.
How does SAD affect people? Symptoms tend to start from around September each year lasting until April, but are at their worst in the darkest months. Symptoms include:
Sleep problems - oversleeping but not refreshed, cannot get out of bed, needing a nap in the afternoon Overeating - carbohydrate craving leading to weight gain Depression, despair, misery, guilt, anxiety - normal tasks become frustratingly difficult Family / social problems - avoiding company, irritability, loss of libido, loss of feeling Lethargy - too tired to cope, everything an effort Physical symptoms - often joint pain or stomach problems, lowered resistance to infection Behavioural problems - especially in young people